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Nigeria fines UK, South African airlines for breach of coronavirus protocol

Nigeria fines UK, South African airlines for breach of coronavirus protocol
The Nigerian government has rolled out punitive measures against foreign airline operators flying into Nigeria, particularly those from the United Kingdom and South Africa whose passengers allegedly violated the reviewed travel protocols announced by Nigeria’s regulatory body for aviation NCAA.

The Nigerian government has rolled out punitive measures against foreign airline operators flying into Nigeria, particularly those from the United Kingdom and South Africa whose passengers allegedly violated the reviewed travel protocols announced by Nigeria’s regulatory body for aviation NCAA.

The agency, in a circular issued on December 26 by its director-general Musa Nuhu, disclosed that airlines from the affected countries shall be fined $3,500 for each passenger that flouts the guidelines, which were reviewed to prevent an outbreak of the new variant of the coronavirus recently reported in the UK and South Africa.

The circular stated that repeated non-compliance by any carrier would result in the suspension of the airline’s permit to fly into Nigeria, as defaulting passengers are bound to be returned to the point of embarkation.

The NCAA noted that the new travel protocols will apply to both scheduled and non-scheduled passengers from the UK and South Africa, effective from Monday, December 28.

It added that: “Passengers must present the following two documents in order to be allowed to board their flights to Nigeria; Pre-departure PERMIT TO FLY/QR code generated from the Nigeria International Travel Portal (https://nitp.ncdc.gov.ng) showing evidence of payment for the post-arrival day seven COVID-19 PCR test and;

“Documentary evidence of a ‘NEGATIVE COVID-19’ PCR result done within 96 hours (4 days) of boarding from a verifiable laboratory or health facility.

On arrival in Nigeria, passengers would be received and processed separately by the Public Health Authority on arrival in Nigeria.”

The regulatory body also directed all passengers to self-isolate for seven days upon arrival to the country, which will be followed by a COVID-19 PCR test.

Nigeria’s COVID-19 cases had surged in recent weeks, following a new wave of infections which saw the total number of confirmed positive tests rise to as high as 84, 414 as of Sunday, December 27.

The new travel guidelines became expedient in light of the rapidly spreading and highly transmissible variant of the COVID-19 virus said to have originated in the UK.

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